Do you hear talk of “historically low interest rates” and “best time to refinance in decades” but aren’t sure how to put it all into perspective?
Fortunately, we did a little research and summarized what you need to know about today’s mortgage rates, and more importantly, how these low rates affect refinancing or buying a home.
So read on for some facts on what to expect with rates in the future, what it means for today’s real estate market, and a look-back on where rates have been in the past. Read More.
The tax benefits of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) are primarily targeted to the middle class. According to 2012 Congressional estimates , 65.4 percent of the tax benefit is collected by households who have economic income of less than $200,000. In Kentucky, the study shows that between 94-95.4% of claimants have AGIs less than $200K, which puts the state in the highest category.
Of course, the claims for the MID are going to vary state-to-state given differences in house prices and other costs of living, household incomes, and tax items such as property taxes or state income/sales taxes, which in part determine whether a homeowner claims the standard deduction. Read More.
A proposal to revamp the mortgage interest deduction for taxpayers who are homeowners created more confusion for the mortgage industry this past week.
Policymakers on both sides have been toying with the idea of enacting changes to the mortgage interest deduction as a means to cut the nation’s growing federal deficit.
But Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., threw another log into the fire this week by sponsoring a new bill that would limit the mortgage interest deduction to the first $500,000 of mortgage debt and then convert it to a 15% non-refundable tax credit. The change would hit homeowners with higher-priced mortgages the hardest. Read More.
Like everything else, mortgage interest rates fluctuate based on supply, demand and inflation. But it’s not just how many loans borrowers want that matters – interest rates are perhaps most affected by what’s happening in the secondary mortgage market.
The secondary mortgage market is where loans and servicing rights are sold by market leaders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and bought by investors such as mutual fund companies, banks, hedge funds, and teacher and municipal pension funds. Read More.
Are you helping buyers find their first home or move-up buyers transition into a new place and not sure how to get them into a position to score a low interest rate?
It’s a valid concern since lenders’ requirements have changed in the past few years thanks to the challenging economy, says Chris L. Boulter, president of Val-Chris Investments, Inc., a California company specializing in residential and commercial loans.
“Now, because of the mortgage industry crisis a few years ago, there are fewer lenders and higher standards to qualify,” says Boulter. He adds that, unlike a few years ago, lenders are now demanding proof of things like personal assets and years of employment.
What other factors are lenders looking at? Keep reading to find out. Read More.
Are you hoping to cut costs in 2013? Then you might want to refinance your mortgage with one of the record low interest rates that have been a feature of 2012.
“With rates at historic lows, it’s the perfect time to refinance if it makes sense for you,” says Jim Duffy, a mortgage banker with Cole Taylor Mortgage. He adds that rates will probably not go significantly lower.
Duffy says that The Federal Reserve Board, the main governing body of the Federal Reserve System, which oversees national monetary policy and the banks, has been keeping interest rates low through some financial controls they wield that influence rates.
But they can’t keep it up for much longer, he says. “And once they stop, rates will surely go up.”
Read on to learn more about why you should refinance before the year ends. Read More.
With low interest rates, growing home sales and rising real estate prices is now the time to rent or buy?
“It’s the old debate,” said Wendy Forsythe, executive vice president and head of global operations with Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, a full-service real estate brokerage with offices in 22 states. “Rent versus buy, buy versus rent. Pick any market and you can always get arguments that support one view or the other. In the end the real tipping point is one of personal preferences, what works best for the individual.”
But what are those arguments? And which do you find most compelling? Read More.
When shopping for home loans, borrowers are usually most concerned with the annual percentage rate (APR) offered by a mortgage lender, rather than simply the interest rate, since the APR is meant to provide a more complete picture of how much a loan will truly cost. After all, APR calculations take into consideration all of the fees associated with loans, in addition to mortgage interest rates, which makes finding the best mortgage really easy; the lower the APR, the better the deal—right?
Not so fast. Read More.
Thinking about refinancing your mortgage? Go about it for the right reasons, and you could see some significant savings.
In fact, if you refinance, “You may be able to pay less interest, lower your monthly payment, or convert from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan and build your equity faster!” notes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sounds like some pretty smart incentives to refinance, right? But, before you take this big step, it’s important to remember that refinancing also comes at a price. Read More.
The 62% of Americans who say they own their own home marks a new low since Gallup began tracking self-reported homeownership in 2001.
The current level of homeownership marks a decline from 68% in 2011. For most of the prior decade, roughly seven in 10 Americans reported owning their own home. While the recession and financial crisis took place in 2008-2009, homeownership rates didn’t begin to reflect the bursting of the housing bubble until 2010, when 65% of Americans reported owning their own home — the lowest level recorded before this year. Read More.